More than 60 people are dead and dozens of others missing in Germany and Belgium, as heavy floods ravage Western Europe.
Torrential rain has triggered flash floods in the region, turning streets into rivers that have swept away cars and caused houses to collapse.
“I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday in Washington, D.C., where she was due to take part in a bilateral meeting with President Biden at White House.
“We still don’t know the number,” Merkel said of the death toll. “But it will be many.”
The devastation in Schuld, Germany, on Thursday, close to the river Ahr. (Michael Probst/AP)
According to Agence France-Presse, at least 45 people have died in Germany, and at least four in Belgium. Parts of France and Luxembourg have also experienced severe flooding, although no deaths were reported.
European Union is rolling out a plan to tackle climate change, setting ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets for its 27 member countries.
Photographers captured dramatic images of the floodwaters as they raged through small villages, causing catastrophic damage and reducing some buildings to rubble.
The Rheinboulevard riverside walkway in Cologne, Germany, was flooded by the high waters of the Rhine on Wednesday. (Imago via ZUMA Press)
Cars piled up by the floodwaters at a roundabout in the Belgian city of Verviers on Thursday. (Francois Walschaerts/AFP via Getty Images)
Flooding in Bad Münstereifel, Germany, on Thursday. (Action Press/Shutterstock)
Rescue forces and firefighters evacuate the inhabitants of the In der Lake settlement in Witten, Germany, on Thursday. (Action Press/Shutterstock)
Ruhrauen near Heves and Herbede, as well as parts of the road In der Lake, were flooded after continuous rain on Thursday. (Action Press/Shutterstock)
An elderly woman is evacuated after the flooding in Verviers, Belgium, on Thursday. (Stephanie Lecocq/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Residents inspect a collapsed house after the flooding of the river Ahr, in Schuld, Germany, on Thursday. (Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
The flooded village square of Stansstad on Lake Vierwaldstättersee in Switzerland on Thursday. (Flueeler/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A cat surveys the damage on a flooded street in Bad Münstereifel, Germany, on Thursday. (Sascha Steinback/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A car floats in the Meuse River in heavy flooding in Liège, Belgium, on Thursday. (Valentin Bianchi/AP)
Mud and water fill the ground floor of a flooded house in Méry, Belgium, on Thursday. (Valentin Bianchi/AP)
Flood damage Thursday in Schuld, Germany. (Sascha Steinback/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A resident empties a bucket of water from a cellar in Hagen, Germany, on Thursday. (Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)
Residents in Bochum, Germany, are rescued from flooded houses by firefighters. (Imago via ZUMA Press)
Debris from houses and cars after flooding in Schuld, Germany, on Thursday. (Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A woman braves the floodwaters in Liège, Belgium, on Thursday. (Valentin Bianchi)/AP
Firefighters and relief workers move sandbags against the rising waters of the river Duessel, in Düsseldorf Grafenberg, Germany. (Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
A destroyed bridge over the river Ahr in Schuld, Germany, on Thursday. (Michael Probst/AP)
A woman is helped to navigate a flooded street in Spa, Belgium, on Thursday. (Bruno Fahy/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)
Flooding in Hattingen, Germany, on Thursday. (Dana Pusch/Action Press via ZUMA Press)
Cars in Hagen, Germany, on Thursday are covered by debris from the flooding of the river Volme. (Martin Meissner/AP)
Firefighters pump water from the streets in Ruhr, Germany, on Thursday. (Imago via ZUMA Press)
A hotel owner sits on a crucifix in front of his damaged hotel in Insul, Germany, on Thursday. (Michael Probst/AP) ____
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